Mask it Up CSRA: Local company making thousands of face masks to meet the needs of the community in pandemic


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — It’s a tough situation for many businesses as they struggle to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. Many companies are looking at pay cuts or furloughing employees as an option. United Way of the CSRA is stepping in, and they need your help.

Carole Fabrics President, Frank Andrew, has about 250 employees who work in different positions throughout the company. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, only 30 of them are working. Instead of its usual business model, the fabric manufacturing company is using those folks to create masks for the community.

“Because now they aren’t making custom window treatments, they can make face masks,” said United Way of the CSRA’s CEO, Brittany Burnett. “It’s helping our local economy keep people employed, and our local folks protected.”

Carole Fabrics started making face masks as a side project to help those on the frontlines. Due to high demand, United Way stepped in to find the need for the community. That partnership created the “Mask It Up CSRA” campaign.

“Tell us what the work is that you’re doing, so we can have an understanding of why there is such a large request,” said Burnett. “We are doing everything we can to meet the demands.”

Organizations can request face masks in bulk for their workers, for a donation of $5 per mask. Andrew says the campaign is keeping his employees paid during the pandemic and could bring more folks back to work.

“For some people, the way they can give back, and what they can afford to do is $5,” explained Burnett. “It’s a place that everyone can be involved in.”

Carole Fabrics can create more than 2,500 masks a day, and soon they hope to increase the number. Since the campaign, the company has already created 20,000 face masks. Andrew says they have donated 3,250 of them to first responders and several non-profit organizations around the area.

“As people get masks in their hands, that would make them feel more comfortable if they have not been able to go to the grocery store,” said Burnett. “This is what will allow them to do some of the things they need to do, knowing they are protected.”

Tuesday through Friday from 11 am to 4 pm, you can buy a face mask at Decorator’s Outlet on Washington Road.

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